The wildlife and habitat vision for national wildlife refuges stresses that wildlife come first; that ecosystems, biodiversity, and wilderness are vital concepts in refuge management. 

Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge's primary goals are:


  • To provide habitat for migratory birds.
  • To provide habitat and protection for endangered and threatened species. 
  • To provide habitat for natural wildlife diversity. 
  • To provide opportunities for wildlife-dependent recreation including hunting, fishing, wildlife observation and photography, environmental education, and interpretation.